A LIFELONG LOVE OF FOOD and two years spent working at a vacation resort in Suffolk, United Kingdom, led Christo Pretorius to a culinary career. Now the small boy who grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is the award-winning executive chef of all restaurants and banquets and events at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town.
While following in the footsteps of his mentor, Henrico Grobbelaar, under whom he worked as executive sous chef at The Twelve Apostles, Pretorius also made his own mark at the hotel with inventive new menus focused on international and local cuisine. He also makes a mark on the community, recognized for his efforts on sustainable seafood practices, participating in events centered around youth development and more. He’s received a number of accolades.
“My goal as a chef is to create lasting memories. Engaging all senses is what creates truly special memories that diners will cherish forever,” said Pretorius. From the sounds of it, mission accomplished.
WHICH FOOD IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? AND ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE SPECTRUM, WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT OR FOOD YOU HATE TO USE? Guilty pleasure is a tin of condensed milk (I’m not entirely sure what the U.S. equivalent is); for some reason, I cannot resist it. My mother used to make me eat gem squash as a child, like all moms do, stuffed with corn and gratinated with cheese. I cannot cook with it at all now.
WHAT DISHES WOULD YOU SERVE AT A PRIVATE DINNER PARTY? That depends who my guests are! My wife, something Asian; my friends, something on a braai/barbecue grill that I caught myself; and for a VIP, I’d serve one of my signature Azure dishes, like the grilled baby squid with barley risotto, creamed artichoke, barley puffs, soy truffle purée, soy pickled shiitake mushrooms and green onion oil.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEAL YOU EVER PREPARED ON YOUR OWN? One of the first really cool items we learned to make at chef school was marshmallows. I was so intrigued by the way you can whip up egg whites and create something so magical. Early on in my career, my menu was filled with weird and wonderful flavored marshmallows. Looking back, I definitely overdid them.
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE IN ONE DISH, WHICH DISH WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Springbok loin with pickled apple, red cabbage, cranberry gel, celeriac purée and roast springbok jus. I have always been proudly South African. We, as South African chefs, are incredibly lucky with the quality of produce we get here. If you have traveled elsewhere, you realize how lucky we are to be able to afford the quality, abundance and variety of meats and vegetables available to us in South Africa. We need to respect and celebrate it in our profession as much as we can.
WHICH CULINARY TREND WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISAPPEAR? Slate plates! If you’ve ever put your knife into a steak and cut into a slate plate, you’ll know what I mean. We shouldn’t compromise the dining experience by wanting something to look sexy. It should feel and eat well, too. Operating equipment evolved so much in the past decade, but it should enhance the experience, not the other way around.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Nice, France, with us.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.